Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun
Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013 | 12:22 a.m.
Canyon Springs might have learned something from all the close losses that haunted it last season.
The Pioneers’ three regular-season defeats in 2012 came by a combined seven points. Finally they got one close-contested battle to go their way in Saturday’s season opener.
Canyon Springs defeated visiting Coronado in overtime, 16-15.
“Our guys showed a lot of character tonight,” Cooper said. “They played their butts off and hit on all cylinders.”
Canyon Springs moved the ball all night, but committed numerous costly mistakes — including five turnovers — that limited scoring opportunities. Defense kept the Pioneers in the game with a performance that had Cooper raving.
A.J. Cooper locked down receivers all night while Rayshawn Henderson and Joe Jackson led the way up front with two sacks apiece. The defensive efforts of both teams kept the game tied 8-8 at the end of regulation.
Coronado got the ball first in overtime, and scored on a fourth-and-1 play and converted on the extra point.
Zaviontay Stevenson found the end zone on the third play of Canyon Springs’ possession. Cooper decided to go for the win with a two-point conversion.
Using a bit of trickery, Cooper went against the power-running game that had worked for the team all night and instructed quarterback Bradley Alexander to roll out and pass for the win.
It worked to perfection.
“I’m so proud of these kids,” Cooper said. “My guys were like soldiers out there tonight.”